On run-of-the-mill stories too, the demand from the news desk was the same: could I get an official source to confirm the story? It happened even when I had seen something with my own eyes.
If you've ever wondered what it's really like to be a journalist, Jonathan Cook's story, told over at Media Lens, painfully and sadly rings true.
And what's wrong with relying on sources to tell the news? Well it depends on how honest they are, as News Corpse reports...
It’s about time! The FCC is only now getting around to reacting to reports, originally published in the New York Times last April, that the Pentagon was actively engaging in possibly unlawful activity wherein they supplied supposedly retired military spokespersons to the media who were in fact trained and deployed to promote views favoring the Bush administration’s conduct of the war in Iraq. Even worse, these unethical officers were simultaneously employed by defense contractors and received financial gain as a result of their brazen propagandizing.
Meanwhile, it's been another week of doom in the financial world. What's gone wrong? Why is it going wrong? What's going to go wrong next? We still don't really know: the official sources can't tell the journalists - they simply are as in the dark as we are - so the journalists can't tell us. Never have blogs been more useful. Kulvinder at Pickled Politics has an excellent beginner's guide to the crisis:
In a paragraph the current financial crisis is caused by the banks suddenly realising that part of the core capital that they leveraged from – these CDOs - are haemorrhaging value, and because they multiply up their core capital the affects on the leveraged investments is multiplied; a small variation in their core capital leads to an amplified variation in their leveraged investments.
Lenin looks to the future:
The next question that follows from all this is how bad can it get for the government? The worsening of the crisis has improved Brown's stature in the administration, and even in some of the polls (not by enough to save the government, though). Many people perhaps suspect that, however bad it is with the government, the Tory plan to cut taxes for the rich and slash public spending is no way out of the crisis. To that extent, I would expect the government to benefit in the short-term even if its bail-out plans are likely to become more unpopular as their basic inability to save jobs and prop up the economy becomes obvious.
While bloggers are hitting the target, the handsomely remunerated bloated twits who pass themselves off as newspaper columnists are excruciatingly wide of the mark. Dave Osler skewers embarrassment-to-journalism Simon Heffer and proves why such a dozy, illiterate buffoon should never be given a column in a national newspaper.
Chris Dillow at Stumbling and Mumbling latches onto a statement from local government minister John Healey on the investment wisdom of councils as evidence of a worrying inversion of things:
The fact is that it is individual savers, on average, who are intelligent and well-informed, whilst it is the professionals who get it wrong.
It is not ordinary individual investors who caused the present crisis and need a multi-billion pound bail out.
And there’s quite a bit of academic research from around the world showing that individuals out-perform professional investors.
Jamie Sport over at the Quail looks at a truly terrible Metro headline. But it's not all about bad journalism. The front page of the FT today has an absolute corker of a photograph, a wonderful image that says so much:
- Friday links, October 3: The trashout
- Friday links 24/10: Journalism
- Friday links 21/11/08: Lolgriffin & happy birthday to me
- Friday links 20/3/9
- Friday links 12/3/10